No. 5 Squadron (RAAF): Second World War

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No.5 Squadron, RAAF, was an army cooperation squadron that served on Bougainville, New Britain and New Guinea from late in 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The squadron was formed as No.5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron on 9 January 1941 at Laverton, Victoria, and was equipped with the Commonwealth Wirraway. It remained in Australia for more than three years, training as an army cooperation squadron and cooperating with other training exercises. The first Commonwealth Boomerangs arrived in July 1943, and were used alongside the Wirraway for the rest of the war.

Boomerangs of No.5 Squadron, RAAF
Boomerangs of
No.5 Squadron, RAAF

The squadron moved to Bougainville Island, at the western end of the Solomon Islands, in November-December 1944. Most of the squadron's personnel arrived by sea on 15 December. The aircraft were used for army cooperation, artillery spotting, supply drops, tactical reconnaissance and low level strafing missions. They were also used to guide other Allied aircraft to their targets.

The squadrons operated a number of detached flights. One detachment operated from Cape Hoskins, on the north coast of New Britain, from February 1945. It then moved to Jacquinot Bay on the south-east coast of New Britain, and then in April 1945 to Tadji on New Guinea.

In September, the month after the end of hostilities, the squadron received its first Curtis Kittyhawks. The squadron's pilots reported that their new aircraft were excellent in flight, but more tiring than the Boomerang.

The squadron returned to Australia in January-February 1946, where it was disbanded.

9 January-July 1943: Commonwealth Wirraway
July 1943-August 1946: Commonwealth Boomerang and Commonwealth Wirraway
September 1945 onwards: Boomerang, Wirraway and Kittyhawk

9 January 1941-May 1942-: Laverton, Victoria
May-August 1942-: Toowoomba, Queensland
-January 1943-: Toogoolawah, Queensland
-March 1943-: Kingaroy, Queensland
-June 1943-September 1944-: Mareeba, Queensland
November 1944-January 1946: Bougainville
   February 1945-: Detachment to Cape Hoskins, New Britain
   -April 1945: Detachment to Jacquinot Bay, New Britain
   April 1945-September 1945: Detachment to Tadji, New Guinea

Squadron Codes: Wirraway Code BF

1941-44: Army Cooperation Squadron, Australia
1944-45: Army Cooperation Squadron, Bougainville, New Britain and New Guinea



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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 August 2012), No. 5 Squadron (RAAF): Second World War,

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